John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Development and validation of a biotic ligand model for predicting chronic toxicity of lead (Pb) to Ceriodaphnia dubia

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While it is increasingly being recognized that biotic ligand models (BLM) are valuable in the risk assessment of metals in aquatic systems, the development of chronic BLMs for lead (Pb) has been less advanced than for other metals. Here, we investigated the univariate effects of Ca and pH on chronic reproductive toxicity of Pb to Ceriodaphnia dubia at 4 levels. Ca did only influence chronic Pb toxicity to C. dubia to a relatively small extent, whereas a high pH (8.2) provided strong protection against Pb toxicity (compared to lower pH levels). Based on this dataset, a chronic Pb BLM for C. dubia was developed. The effect of pH was modeled as a single BL‐site competition by H+ with a log KHBL = 7.6, while no other competitive constants were needed. The developed BLM was shown in an independent validation with three other datasets to be capable of predicting chronic Pb toxicity to different clones of C. dubia by an error of less than a factor of 2 in most synthetic and natural waters considered. Our results add to the growing evidence that BLM‐based risk assessment or water quality criteria for Pb are likely to be more appropriate relative to hardness‐based assessments or criteria. Environ Toxicol Chem © 2013 SETAC

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